Alex Williams (footballer, born 1961)

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Alex Williams
Personal information
Full name Alexander Williams[1]
Date of birth (1961-11-13) 13 November 1961 (age 52)[1]
Place of birth Manchester, England[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Manchester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1986 Manchester City 125 (0)
1986 Queen of the South (loan) 5 (0)
1986–1987 Port Vale 35 (0)
Total 165 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Alexander "Alex" Williams MBE (born 13 November 1961) is an English former football goalkeeper.

He made 125 league appearances for Manchester City between 1980 and 1986, and also had brief spells with Queen of the South and Port Vale. He helped City to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1984–85. However he was forced into early retirement in September 1987 due to a recurring back injury. He continued to work behind the scenes at Manchester City, and in 2002 received an MBE for services to young people.

Playing career[edit]

A Moss Side native and product of the Manchester City youth scheme,[2] he featured in both the FA Youth Cup finals of 1979 and 1980, which ended in defeats to Millwall and Aston Villa respectively. He graduated out of the Academy alongside players such as Gary Bennett, Tommy Caton and Steve MacKenzie. He made his first team debut in the 1980–81 season, and impressed enough so as to permanently succeeded Joe Corrigan in the City goal.[2] Following mid-table finishes in the 1980–81 and 1981–82 seasons under manager John Bond, City were relegated out of the First Division in 1982–83 under new boss John Benson. Now under the stewardship of Billy McNeill, they finished fourth in the Second Division in 1983–84, missing out on promotion by a ten-point margin. Despite this, Williams was voted onto the PFA Team of the Year, along with teammate Mick McCarthy. Promotion was instead achieved in 1984–85, after they secured the third and final promotion place by beating fourth placed Portsmouth's goal difference tally. The "Citizens" re-established themselves in the top-flight with a 15th place finish in 1985–86. However he lost his first team place to Eric Nixon, and fell further down the pecking order with the arrival of Perry Suckling.[2] His last game for the club was a 3–0 home defeat to rivals Manchester United.[2] Williams played a total of 125 league games in his six years at Maine Road. He also played five games on loan at Scottish club Queen of the South in 1986.

In November 1986 he was sent out on loan to Port Vale, who needed cover for an injured Mark Grew, and was signed permanently by manager John Rudge in January 1987 for a £10,000 fee (plus 50% of any future transfer fees).[1] He settled in well at Vale Park, and made 31 Third Division appearances in 1986–87.[1] However he featured just six times at the start of the 1987–88 campaign when he was forced into retirement in September 1987 due to a recurring back injury.[1]

Post-retirement[edit]

Williams returned to Port Vale in July 1988 as the community programme officer but departed in January 1990 to take up a similar role at Manchester City. He now works as the Executive Manager of City in the Community, Manchester City's community programme.[3]

Williams was awarded the MBE in the 2002 New Years Honours list[4] for his services to young people.[5]

Honours[edit]

with Manchester City
Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 310. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d "profile". football-england.com. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "CITC staff". Manchester City. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Football's New Year Honours". The FA. 2 December 2001. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Queen honours nine in her New Year list". Stockport Express (M.E.N. Media). 31 December 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2008.